How To Install a Kitchen Sink Faucet

Installing a new faucet in your kitchen makes a great DIY project for your home and is not as hard as you might think. Since the steps for installing a faucet may vary depending on your model, be sure to follow the instructions that came with it.

Replacing a kitchen faucet is a three-step process that involves:
(1) Removing the old faucet, (2) Cleaning the sink, (3) Installing the new faucet.

Tools and Materials

Tools Needed

  • Utility knife
  • Two adjustable wrenches
  • Pliers or basin wrench
  • Putty knife
  • protective eyewear or goggles
  • Flashlight or work light

Materials Needed

  • Kitchen faucet
  • Hot and cold supply lines
  • Plumber’s putty (optional)
  • Baking soda or cleanser
  • Old toothbrush or scrub brush
  • Towels, sponge, and bucket

How to Remove a Faucet

Step #1: Clean out the cabinet under the sink to allow room to work.

Step #2: Turn off the water supply to the faucet at the cut-off valves under the sink, then turn on the faucet to see if water has stopped flowing. If the water lines under the sink do not have cut-off valves, turn the water off for the entire house at the water meter or where the main water line enters the house in the basement.

            Cut-off valves under sink.                 Hold down nuts and supply lines.

Step #3: Undo the water supply lines to the faucet by turning the nut counter-clockwise. Use two wrenches, one to keep the cut-off valve from twisting and the other to turn the nut that secures the supply line.

Step #4: Unscrew the hold down nuts under the countertop that secure the faucet in place using adjustable pliers or a special basin wrench.

          Removing old faucet.

Step #5: Gently wiggle the faucet back and forth to loosen it.

Step #6: Remove the old faucet by pulling the water supply lines up through the holes in the sink.

Step #7: Scrap off any old putty from the sink with a putty knife, being careful not to scratch the sink.

Step #8: Clean the surface of the sink under and around the faucet holes using baking soda and an old toothbrush.

How to Install a Faucet

Step #1: If the base of your new faucet doesn’t include a rubber gasket to seal it to the sink, apply plumber’s putty to the sink under the faucet.

                                    New faucet base attached to sink.

Step #2: Install the faucet cover plate (if required) on the sink, making sure to center it on the sink. Tighten up the hold down nuts under the sink with pliers or a basin wrench. Do not over tighten plastic nuts.

Step #3: Mount the faucet on your sink, and tighten the hold down nuts using pliers or a basin wrench, being careful not to over tighten plastic nuts.

          Hold down nuts and supply lines attached under sink to new faucet.

Step #4: Attach hot and cold flexible water supply lines to the cut-off valves and faucet using two adjustable wrenches. Make sure the hot and cold supply lines are attached to the correct faucet lines.

  Sprayer hose counterweight.

Step #5: For faucets with a pullout sprayer, attach the counterweight to the flexible sprayer hose.

Step #6: Unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet and set it aside.

Step #7: Turn on the hot and cold water at the cut-off valves and check under the sink for leaks. Use the wrenches to tighten up the fittings until any leaks stops.

Step #8: Turn on the faucet, and let the water run for a few minutes to clean any debris out of the lines.

Step #9: Turn off the faucet, screw on the aerator and you’re done!

Further Information:

Watch our video on How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet to find out more.

Scott Gray is currently a handyman enthusiast who enjoys providing tips to consumers and homeowners. For more information about do-it-yourself home improvements and tips for choosing the best cordless drills, be sure to visit his website at


  1. my kitchen sink was recently pulled up because new counter tops were installed, but when the plumber came he said their were no sink screws holding down the sink. i bought the screws package but don’t have a diagram of what i need to look for and where to screw them in. do you have any such pictures or diagram? thanks!!! just a girl!!!

    • Hi Erin,
      To install hold down screws under a stainless steel kitchen sink:
      (1) Hold the screw with the head up.
      (2) Screw the clip onto it so the bent flange on the clip is facing up.
      (3) Slide the head of the screw in the track under the bottom of the sink.
      (4) Insert a screwdriver in the slot in the bottom end of the screw.
      (5) Tighten the clip up until it’s snug.
      Good luck with your project!

  2. While watching Danny Lipford’s Homeowner’s Show today, June 19, 2010, I noticed a fabulous tool used by someone who was replacing a kitchen faucet assembly. The bright orange, multi-purpose tool, apparently made of plastic, was being used to turn off the two water valves under the sink, valves that are often stuck in the open position and very difficult to reach and turn by hand only. Where can I purchase such a tool? I am sure many other DIY handymen would appreciate getting their hands on one!



  4. When installing a new delta faucet with a sprayer what do I do about the aireator for dishwasher I need that fourth hole for the sprayer

    • Orrion,
      If a dishwasher air gap is required by code in your area, you will either need to buy a faucet that doesn’t have a sprayer (on most kitchen faucets today the end of the faucet pulls out to server as a sprayer) or cut another hole in either your sink or countertop for the air gap.

      If an air gap isn’t required in your area, you can remove it and attach the dishwasher drain hose up near the top of the inside of the base cabinet then back down down again to the dishwasher sink drain to prevent backflow from the sink into the dishwasher.

      Read the “Connecting the Drainpipe” section of our article on How to Install a Dishwasher to find out more about air gaps.


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